Opal Ellen Ruth of Perry


Opal Ellen Ruth was born to Mary Jane and Frank Griswold Feb. 12, 1923, in Adair County, Iowa. She passed away at the age of 97 at the Rowley Masonic Community May 30, 2020, in Perry, Iowa.

Opal attended school in the Greenfield and Fontanelle schools and graduated from Fontanelle High School in 1940.

She married Joseph Eugene Ruth July 19, 1940.

They moved to Perry in 1959, where Opal worked in several jobs. She helped Joe in the businesses they had, including the Tastee Freeze, the Maid-Rite, the Perry Stationary and others.

She also worked at the Stardust Bowling Alley, the King David Restaurant, the Elks Club and was a cook at the Rowley Masonic Home for 5 years.

Opal was proud to be president of the Rebekah Assembly for the State of Iowa during the 1993-1994 year, the auxiliary to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. She also served as the local President of the Legion Auxiliary and the local Does Auxiliary.

She was a member of the Naomi Circle of the First United Methodist Church and served on several committees and assisted with Sunday School.

Opal loved to crochet, play bingo and partake in what the casinos had to offer, within limits, she always reminded us. She was an avid bowler in her younger years and enjoyed attending the state league conventions every year.

Opal is preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Joe; and her brothers; Paul and Elmer Griswold.

She is survived by her sisters, Ruth Nevins of Des Moines and Alice (Darrell) Jameson of Greenfield; her daughter, Iris Ann (Bill) Coffin of Perry; grandchildren, Lyn (Glen) Larsen of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and Bob (Candi) Coffin of Perry; seven great-grandchildren, Melinda, Kassie, Jenny, Bridgette, Kory, Derek and Joseph; and two great-great-grandchildren, Blake and Piper. She was also preceded by many relatives and friends and left many behind.

Our thanks go out to all of those at the Rowley Masonic Community who took care of Opal and loved her.


  1. My condolences to Iris, Bill, and family for the loss of Iris’ mother. I am sure you have many memories of good times over the many years during your mother’s long and wonderful life. Her family will miss her but will keep her in their hearts forever. You will be in my thoughts and prayers. Sending hugs.
    Marcia DeWitt

  2. Bill, Ann and family, was sorry to hear of Opal’s passing, know that my thoughts and prayers are with you at this time.
    Ms. Jolene Welder


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